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In THis Issue NOVEMBER 2013 - Volume 1, Issue 11 1 Cover

2 3

4 5

6 7

3 In this issue 4 letter from the editor 6 in the news: national 7 in the news: interNational

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

8 Out on LI: The Trans* experience 13 out on LI: Whit & whim quality goods with a twist 14 out on li: harborfields h.s. on National coming out day 15 L.I. Fashion 16 Rocky Road: An interview about valentine road 20 calendar

24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

23 be scene: Harborfields h.s. 24 living healthy 28 travel: Palm Springs 29 Beauty: Hot hair roundup 32 Thanksgiving recipes

32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

33 Pet tips: keeping warm this winter 34 points of view 37 the a-to-z: Gender identity

Living Out is produced by The Long Island Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Services Network with support from Morey Publishing, LLC.

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This November, the team at Living Out is doing what many in our nation will do on November 20 and the days leading up to it: remembering and honoring our transgender sisters and brothers who have lost their lives due to bigotry, hatred, and violence. As part of this powerful and solemn time for our community, Living Out has taken a local and exclusive look at the everyday realities for transgender individuals as told through their own words – across the nation, in New York, and here on Long Island (pg. 8). November is also a time of great change as the leaves fade and fall, and with that spirit of thanks and change, Living Out brings you a local boutique whose profits benefit a new non-profit organization each month (pg. 12). Their story is one we found truly inspiring in teaching us to work together as a community as well as in supporting worthwhile and impactful causes. The issue also tackles my personal favorite holiday: whether you are cooking for two or having the family over for the first

time, we have got you covered with Thanksgiving staple recipes (pg. 32). And in the spirit of Black Friday, a shopping tradition that seems to start earlier and earlier each year, we asked Long Islanders about the latest fashion trends they have donned (pg. 15) as to better inspire your shopping choices, and judged hot new video games (pg. 32) for those of you anxiously waiting on lines to spoil a loved one with the latest titles. But the holiday season is not just a fun one for humans! Living Out has a few pet tips to keep your furry friends cozy and warm over winter (pg. 33) and look stylish, too. So whether you are getting ready to prep the fireplace or enjoy a hot cup of cider, we hope that you can join the team of Living Out with being thankful for all that is good in our lives and our community. With Pride,

Meryl Lumba, Editor








In the news national News

CA transgender protection law faces GOP opposition

By Rachel Roth

The California GOP is backing an effort to repeal the state’s new transgender student protection law.

Marriage equality now law in NJ When Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson ordered state officials to begin officiating same-sex marriages on October 21, Governor Chris Christie vowed to appeal.

However, hours after same-sex couples started exchanging vows, Christie announced that he is dropping the appeal, effectively removing the last hurdle to making same-sex marriage legal in New Jersey.

Mayors in cities and towns including Newark, Jersey City, Red Bank, Asbury Park and Lambertville opened their city halls Sunday at midnight to marry couples as soon as the state’s 72-hour waiting period for licenses was over.

Senate unanimously confirms first openly gay federal appellate judge The US Senate voted 98 to 0 in favor of approving Todd Hughes for the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He will be the first openly gay federal appellate judge.

At a convention in Anaheim in early October, state legislators voted in favor of endorsing candidates who have pledged to oppose the School Success and Opportunity Act that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law in August, which guarantees students the right to use facilities consistent with their gender identity. Openly gay Republican Vice Chairman Greg Gandrud reportedly warned against trying to repeal the law.

Hughes, who currently serves as deputy director of the Justice Department’s commercial litigation branch, will decide on patent issues and veterans’ claims as part of his new responsibilities on the bench. According to The Washington Post, seven openly gay judges have already been confirmed to serve on district courts, which rank one level below the circuit courts.

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Senator Susan Collins

Bipartisan coalition introduces same-sex benefits bill Bipartisan legislation was introduced in both chambers of Congress that would guarantee benefits eligibility for the same-sex partners of federal government employees. Those in domestic partnerships and civil unions would also be eligible for benefits. 6


Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) cosponsored the Senate version of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act. In the House, Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI), Ileana RosLehtinen (R-FL) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) cosponsored the bill.




international News

By Rachel Roth

Kuwait developing a “gay detector” Heath officials in Kuwait are preparing to test the country’s first attempt at a “gaydar.” Yousuf Mindkar, the director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, told Al Rai that he wants to use a “gay detector test” to keep GLBT expatriates out of Kuwait. Visitors already have to pass a health exam

before gaining access to the country, but according to Gulf News, Mindkar wants “stricter measures” in place to keep gays and lesbians from entering Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC). It is unclear what the “clinical test” is or how the health ministry plans to measure homosexuality.

Church dumps rebel priest Melbourne newspaper The Age reported that Greg Reynolds, a founder of the group Inclusive Catholics, stirred up controversy after supporting GLBT equality and the right for women to be ordained as clergy. In a magazine interview Father Reynolds reportedly said that he could not pass judgment on a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender

individual solely because of their sexual preference or gender identity. The directive to defrock and excommunicate Father Reynolds came from the Vatican – meaning it was sanctioned by Pope Francis, who made headlines last month when he called on the Catholic Church to “accept gays with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”

NOM President to Russia: Be an example to the world An investigation by Right Wing Watch claims that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) President Brian Brown pushed for Russian legislators to adopt a set of anti-GLBT laws this summer. NOM President Brian Brown

According to the report, Brown told the Russian Duma’s foreign affairs committee in June that marriage equality represented “a real threat to rights” and argued for laws restricting GLBT adoption in a television interview on a Russian news channel. “Right now you’re having the fight about adoption, but the adoption issue is indivisible from the marriage issue,” Brown said. “If you don’t defend your values now, I’m afraid we’re going to see very negative developments all over the world.”


As of press time, Russia’s anti-GLBT policies have already led to a ban for all hopeful single parents and couples from Sweden, Canada, and other countries with samesex marriage rights – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The country has also experienced an increased level of violence and harrassment as Russian officials continue to denounce and investigate “gay propoganda.”

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out on li In a world where gendered expectations bombard us from the minute we are born, transgender people break through gender norms and boundaries to live authentically. STORY BY MERYL LUMBA

(TDOR) brings attention to the continued hatred and violence the transgender community endures around the world.

To protect those interviewed, full names will not be disclosed.


hile the nation moves ever toward a progressive future with pro-gay marriage legislation happening in more and more states, many have allowed themselves to think that equality is finally arriving – or even, for some complacent GLBT people and their allies, here already. The reality of the GLBT community’s current place in society is in stark contrast to this idea. Issues like homelessness, healthcare, workplace discrimination, immigration rights are just some of the steep obstacles the movement toward equal rights currently faces - and no demographic is more at risk today than the transgender community. These injustices, paired with the often insulting, sometimes horrific portrayal of trans people by the media, have been overshadowed by the successes of the gay and lesbian community. The Transgender Day of



Remembrance (November 20) reminds people of the harsh reality that our trans sisters and brothers face every single day. A few months ago in Harlem, 21-year-old Islan Nettles was brutally assaulted one evening as she and her friends were walking home, leaving her comatose for several days before she was removed from life support. Nettles died a tragic death, and yet the suspect was freed on just $2,000 bail. Nettles’ case is just one of many instances in which a transgender individual is the victim of violence. She is an illustration of a staggering fact: that one in 12 transgender women will be murdered for her identity, especially if that woman is of color. And so each year, the Transgender Day of Remembrance commemorates Nettles and all transgender individuals like her who have lost their lives due to violence and hatred. Since its creation in 1998 by activist and Living Out columnist Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the Transgender Day of Remembrance

In today’s world, the awareness the event brings is critical. The Transgender Law and Policy Institute states approximately 2 to 5 percent of Americans identify as transgender, and almost all report feeling some degree of gender dysphoria – a distressing feeling that their assigned gender or physical body does not match their gender identity. Between dysphoria, discrimination, and rejection from loved ones, it comes as no surprise that trans individuals face a number of difficulties most Long Islanders do not have to think about. In New York alone, one of three transgender people have been homeless, two of three have experienced discrimination at work, and 30 percent have faced serious physical or sexual assault. According to the Williams Institute, seven cities and three counties in New

accommodations. While New York is actually the first state in the nation to enact a Human Rights Law – hailed as a success in protecting workers from all different prejudices – the law does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. As a result, protections for transgender individuals vary across the board. While New York State prohibits discrimination against transgender employees in state employment and the Dignity for All Students Act contains specific protections from discrimination and bullying on the basis of gender identity and expression in the state’s public schools, on Long Island, only Suffolk County has an

“I doubt myself constantly – that I don’t pass well or no one takes me seriously in this part of my life.”


York have enacted local ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in at least some private sectors, such as private sector employment, housing, and public

ordinance prohibiting gender identity discrimination. Furthermore, Suffolk County does not cover protections from government services and public education. Nassau County is still




out on li

“There is always a pain in my heart not being accepted by the people I love just because of who I am.” -Barbara

without any kind of ordinance protecting the trans community. Just as there is no across-the-board protection, there is no standard experience on what it means to be trans on Long Island – just like there’s no standard experience in coming out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. The difference is that transgender issues do not receive the mainstream attention and support that other members of the community do. As a result, some transgender individuals live the majority of their lifetime in secrecy until the guilt that comes from hiding one’s true identity becomes overwhelming. One such individual is 67-year-old Barbara who has been living on Long Island for years after she happily retired from a 40-year career in aviation. Barbara shares that she played sports and dated girls throughout her youth and even spent four years in the heteronormative Air Force. After going to war, she returned and was soon


after happily married with children. Though she presented herself on the outside with typical male behavior, Barbara shares that she felt something was wrong. She secretly crossdressed all her life, but the secret was quickly becoming a burden.

“About seven or eight years ago, my world was imploding on top of me. My wife and I were not doing well and the sanctuary of the job was falling apart. My life was at its absolute lowest,” Barbara remarks. Barbara shares that after months of thinking of how to tell her family about her true self, she wrote a letter to her loved ones, hoping that she could speak most freely through writing. Unfortunately, she was not met with the acceptance she hoped would come from her family and friends.

every time.” “I have to say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been about me, but if my family would accept me, my life would be perfect. There is always a pain in my heart not being accepted by the people I love just because of who I am,” Barbara shares. “I truly believe my faith in God has got me through it all. I’m sure someday He will grant me my prayer and give me back my family but until then I couldn’t be happier. Barbara is alive and well.” Like Barbara, many trans women choose to come out later in life: fear of losing their jobs, spouses, or children keeps many in the closet. Luckily, despite the challenges they face as part of being their authentic selves, most report that same happiness. Joanne, a retired engineer and SAGELong Island attendee from North Woodmere, shared that her experience of “coming out” was always accompanied by a “paranoid-like fear” that people would point at her and laugh. Having worked in a male-dominated industry, she remembers being what she calls a “part-time” woman until just five years ago, when she

mustered the courage to present as a woman “full-time.” Joanne had no concrete plan in her “coming out” process, though she did recall hiding her true self from her children and her neighbors by getting dressed secretly in her car to avoid harassment. While she admits that ultimately each step in her transition brought happiness to her life, Joanne notes that her decision was more of a “biological imperative” to express her true self, an inner drive that forced her to venture into the public. Despite her happiness, her experience has not been perfect. Joanne shares that she was once the victim of violence based on her identity. “Transgender people are a violation of white male heterosexual dominance— it’s sexism. Sexism is the root of homophobia and transphobia. These phobias affect most adults, especially people of color.” Luckily, living as her true self has outweighed the hardships: “It was a good decision because I am now euphoric,” Joanne shares.

Continued on page 11

To this day, Barbara reflects that no one has accepted her. In fact, one of her sons has completely disconnected himself and his family from Barbara. “I found out there is no such thing as unconditional love in my family,” she continues. “In order to see my family and my grandchildren, I have to crossdress back as a male […] and that is becoming more difficult








out on li Like Barbara and Joanne, when many trans people who come out to their family, they often find themselves feeling forced to cross-dress or act a certain way in order to spend time with loved ones. Twenty-one-year-old Chris of Bay Shore shares that same experience. Before coming out as a transgender man to his parents, he would sneak out wearing different clothes and even wore a hood to cover his hair and face.

The transgender umbrella, however, consists of identities more than just male and female, and those labels can be difficult to navigate: Vinny, a 25-year-old resident of Huntington, discloses that he self-identifies as

of his involvement, he has found himself part of a very supportive social circle and school community. The school’s administration has supported and elevated Joel through his experience.

Support, especially during a youth’s formative years, is especially critical to combat the transphobia and violence that runs rampant. Despite the generally -Chris positive personal accounts of those interviewed, all acknowledged that genderqueer and that most of his there is much work to be done, and struggles with his identity seem to be that a startlingly disproportionate internal. amount of violence toward transgender women of color is the “I doubt myself constantly – that I most important issue to address. don’t pass well or no one takes me seriously in this part of my life,” he At home, 19 percent of remarks. transgender individuals experienced domestic violence at Though he came out at 21 to most the hands of a family member. At of his friends, a majority of his family school, 12 percent experienced does not know that he is trans. A sexual violence, with 15 percent formative experience Vinny reflects on of trans women and 10 percent is when he came out during a TDOR of trans men experiencing presentation at his college. sexual assault. Fifty percent of transgender people experienced “I was talking about knowing a good harassment by someone at friend of mine prior to and during his work, and for undocumented, transition and said how it helped me noncitizens, there was three realize that I was also transgender,” times the risk of being sexually Vinny continues. “It was the first time assaulted at work. I had said it out loud and in front of Eight percent anyone, let alone these strangers.” of transgender people have been The feeling was validating: After years physically attacked of doubt and insecurity, he finally or assaulted at admitted to himself who he was and public service offices, started on the road to self-acceptance. including doctor’s offices, government While coming out during college agencies, and other is difficult, coming out during high public venues. school years – a time difficult enough for most teens – can be even more A startling 29 percent were harassed daunting. Joel, a 17-year-old student or treated disrespectfully by police from East Hampton, was nervous at officers, with transgender people of first in being out as a young trans man color reporting much higher rates. to the 200+ students in his year. Of this percentage, 20 percent were denied equal services and 6 percent On coming out at his school, Joel were actually physically assaulted by thinks that it actually made his life police officers. easier and taught him a fun way to look at life. He jokes, “Once you can Earlier this year, the Violence Against get past all the ignorant idiots in high Women Act (VAWA) was reauthorized school, you can make it anywhere!” to include survivors of the GLBT Joel shows pride in his identity by community. Loree Cook-Daniels, serving as the president of his high the policy and program director at school’s Gay Straight Alliance and a FORGE, an organization devoted to youth leader with Long Island Gay and providing peer support to transgender Lesbian Youth (LIGALY), and because individuals and their loved ones

“I feel so much better now, but I still go through dysphoria because I am not fully out to everyone so I still live a dual life, which is hard on me.”

“I never understood why I felt the way I felt. After I came out, I cut my hair shorter and wore whatever I wanted,” Chris reflects. Having come out a year ago to his parents and two years ago to his friends, Chris experienced a variety of reactions from his loved ones. Like Barbara, Chris wrote a letter to his mother explaining how he felt. At first, Chris remembers, she did not fully understand what Chris was disclosing, thinking that Chris was “coming out” as a lesbian. To make matters worse, his father, a religious person, pried at Chris relentlessly until Chris finally said he was transgender, which put a strain on their relationship for some time. “They soon came to realize how important it was for me [to be true to myself] and started extensive research to try and understand what I was going through,” Chris shares. “A huge triumph in my life is how supportive my mother is now.” Chris is not actively pursuing hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a medical treatment that helps many trans people transition from one gender to another by modifying secondary sex characteristics. Luckily, he notes that he has not been misgendered much when presenting as male in public. “My father is still coming along in his own way – a positive way,” Chris continues. “I feel so much better now, but I still go through dysphoria because I am not fully out to everyone so I still live a ‘dual’ life, which is hard on me.”


in Wisconsin, states that what is important to understand about the statistics on violence against transgender people is that other forms of violence are emerging. “While we now have data showing that trans women of color are the most frequent victims of hate crime murders, the statistics show that domestic violence and sexual assault is rampant among both the trans-masculine and trans-feminine populations, regardless of color.” The work that FORGE and organizations like it do, nationally and here on Long Island, will not be done overnight: The road to acceptance, support, and understanding for trans people will take time, but we must still demand change now. As the personal accounts by Long Islanders illustrate, every person’s

transition experience will be different, and many will be met with support while others will be met with rejection. What unites these folks every November – the solemn Transgender Day of Remembrance – is what could unite our entire Long Island community every day of the year. Perhaps by remembering the struggles and hardships that our trans brothers and sisters face, we can empathize in solidarity and stop the violence that kills so many members of our community, person by person, day by day.




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out on LI the local look

by meryl lumba

WIT & WHIM: QUALITY GOODS WITH A PHILANTHROPIC TWIST Wit & Whim, located in the heart of Port Washington, is a boutique housing fair-trade goods and vintage items, many of which are one-of-a-kind. While its products are a collection of everything from trinkets to jewelry to clothing to house goods, the store’s success in the year since its opening has been its dedication to supporting charities and non-profits in the Long Island area and beyond. The store’s creator, Laurie Scheinman, a long-time supporter of the GLBT community and founding copresident of the Long Island Gay PTSA, said that the idea for creating a Brooklyn-inspired gift shop stemmed from one, large philanthropic fundraiser she once hosted in her home years prior called “Tea & Flea.” The event was set up like a flea market and people shopped for goods while learning about and donating to a non-profit. “It sort of planted a seed somewhere deep in my psyche, and I started thinking about how I could educate the community and let people know about organizations that need support – and how to have an outlet for my creative zests. This is sort of an art creation with a philanthropic twist,” Scheinman shares. That philanthropic twist is what is most remarkable about Wit & Whim. Each month, the store donates all of its profits to a different non-profit organization, thus supporting a wide variety of different projects and initiatives. More importantly, Scheinman believes that what she and her small paid staff of two have created is a community hub – a place where people can come in and learn about organizations that need help, in addition to fair trade groups and local artists. Last year following Hurricane Sandy’s destruction on Long Island, Wit & Whim originally channeled its profits to the Red Cross but was unhappy with the lack of impact locally. The boutique switched their cause mid-month to support Fill My Wagon, an initiative of just two women who went from home-to-home purchasing much-needed goods for victims of the storm and hand-delivering those products to affected families. “I really want Wit & Whim to be a collaboration

between our shop, the community, and the recipients of the profits. I feel like it’s sort of a nice circle where everybody learns and helps toward a better world,” Scheinman says. For November, Wit & Whim is donating proceeds to Give Me Shelter, a Long Island organization that rescues animals and places them with permanent homes. This past May, the store supported Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY) in commemoration of the organization’s 20th anniversary. While the store’s support of charities and non-profits has been a huge draw for customers, the products for sale are equally interesting. The enthusiastic staff shares the stories behind each item as customers browse, and with a variety of different goods and gifts at all different price points, it seems that every shopper can find a unique and special gift and support a good cause, too. Hand-poured candles, duffle bags made from upcycled firefighter gear, old records turned into clocks, fine art prints, ornate cufflinks and jewelry, lotions and balms – the variety of items, many of which have such memorable backstories or origins, make Wit & Whim’s shopping experience a delight. Even the setup, a collection of bold colors and stacked vintage boxes and luggage as display stands, reinforces the eclectic goods. “People are so used to shopping in malls where everything sort of looks the same. I really wanted to test our imagination and present the goods in a unique and special


way. The fixtures, the items, the goods – it has this curated, vintage touch,” Scheinman says. For folks that cannot get to the shop, Wit & Whim offers a very hands-on, personal concierge service. Customers can call and still “shop around” as their sales team takes pictures of items they recommend. Wit & Whim will then ship the items to any destination. Since its opening, the venture has taught Scheinman much about what it means to manage a small business but also, more importantly, through Wit & Whim’s support of local groups, what it means to truly be part of a community: “I learned how things can start with one person – and if one person asks for help, it becomes two and grows exponentially. I lived my life more in a vacuum, and this has sort of brought me out in the world in a very different way.”

Healthcare Enrollment for GLBT Long Islanders Winter Ball Fundraiser for HIV/AIDS Services A dinner-dance event being billed as a “swank event to raise critical funds for HIV/ AIDS outreach, testing, prevention, education, and support” is returning to The Historical Thatched Cottage in Centerport on Saturday, December 7th. Winter Ball, an evening benefiting The Long Island GLBT Services Network, holds special significance for the evening’s cause, as it commemorates World AIDS Day on December 1st. Long Island gay and bisexual men are still disproportionally affected by the virus, and The Network hopes to combat the continuing epidemic through funds raised at Winter Ball. “This is an opportunity for Long Islanders to bring their dancing shoes and an appetite for a good time in support of an even better cause,” said David Kilmnick, CEO of The Long Island GLBT Services Network. All tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at 516.323.0011. After the sell-out success of last year’s event, tickets will not be sold at the door, and organizers strongly encourage community members to purchase tickets early.


Beginning in October 2013, The Long Island GLBT Services Network is offering personalized, GLBT-affirming insurance enrollment and screening through a new initiative named Project HELM. Project HELM, which stands for Health Enrollment for the LGBT Marketplace, is run by dedicated staff who are available through information sessions, by phone, and online to explain how the Affordable Care Act affects GLBT individuals. Project HELM staff will also screen individuals’ eligibility, identify the most affordable choice, and help in the enrollment process.

Living Out contributor Christopher Boire, one such community member who sought Project HELM for advice regarding health insurance options, called the new initiative “critical.” “I’m looking into seeing a therapist, but my current plan won’t cover mental health services. But as one of the Essential Health Benefits, even the most basic plans I looked at will cover counseling – and at a fraction of what I pay now! The staff at The Network was helpful in walking me through the application process,” Boire says. “I’d recommend speaking with the Enrollment Coordinator at The Network, especially if you’re confused about your options.”

Check out one of the three upcoming info sessions: • Thursday, November 7th, The Center at Garden City • Tuesday, November 12th, The Hamptons GLBT Center • Wednesday, November 13th, The Center at Bay Shore For hours and directions, visit LIVING OUT


out on LI the local look

by meryl lumba

Check out an exclusive video look at Harborfields’ NCOD Campaign: visit to watch the video.

Harborfields High School on National Coming Out Day

plans on hanging the completed sign so that the school population can see the names of all of the students who made a pledge to creating a safer environment for all students. Marissa Early-Hubelbank, a member of the Harborfields’ GSA, proudly engaged students in the hall throughout the day between her classes. “We want to get ourselves out there and talk about what we stand for, and our beliefs. We’re about bringing people together. We’re not just celebrating one specific type of person – we are more about togetherness,” she says. Emma DeMatto, the president of the GSA, feels optimistic about the campaign because the student body has generally been positive about National Coming Out Day. “My favorite is when everyone is wearing their ribbons,” DeMatto says. “Our GSA is like a huge family – everyone is comfortable with each other. It’s such a safe space. National Coming Out Day is good because it’s so nice to see who supports it.”


On Friday, October 11, millions of students across the country participated in National Coming Out Day, a day to celebrate GLBT identities and encourage youth and adults to “come out,” whether it be about their own sexual orientation and gender identity, in support of a loved one who is GLBT, or simply in support of allinclusive and supportive spaces. Locally, over 60 schools participated in Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth’s (LIGALY) National Coming Out Day School Awareness Campaign by distributing palm cards, hanging posters, and passing out tens of thousands of rainbow ribbons. Educators, students, and administration across Nassau and Suffolk celebrated the day as a success in the movement to address bullying, especially against GLBT youth. One such school that participated in LIGALY’s campaign was Harborfields High School, spearheaded by the school’s active and enthusiastic Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Club and their advisor, Susan Koenig, the school’s social worker. Harborfields’ GSA has been around for about 10 years and currently has upwards of 35 members. For Koenig and staff like her, starting a GSA is critical for every school environment. “[Youth] need to know

there is a safe space for them to fully be. Having a GSA in a school is a clear message that every kid belongs and that every kid is going to be supported,” Koenig says. “I think it’s essential for every single middle and high school to have a GSA.” She shares that a huge reason of why the Harborfields GSA is so successful and continues to grow each year is because the high school has a supportive staff, administration, and principal. Dr. Rory J. Manning, the principal, has been an advocate for the GSA since he first stepped into the high school’s halls. “Dr. Manning came in on the first day and wanted to know when the meeting was so that he could attend, introduce himself to the students – and he’s been supportive ever since. It’s made a big difference… the kids really know that the teachers and the administration are really here for them,” Koenig says, gesturing both at the students sitting by the GSA’s table outside the cafeteria and at the students filling the halls between classes, many of whom wore the rainbow ribbon in solidarity. On the table beside hundreds of rainbow ribbons and buckets of lollipops is a large poster board that students sign in support of safer schools. The GSA

The students’ enthusiasm was equally matched by that of principal Dr. Manning, who agreed that the day is of utmost important in the fight against bullying: “[National Coming Out Day] lets students know that we don’t accept or tolerate bullying of any form – whether it’s cyber-bullying or bullying based on orientation, gender or race. So any day that we celebrate tolerance for all… it sends a message.” Lastly, Koenig shares what many educators feel during National Coming Out Day. “Personally, I’m coming out for all kids so that they can feel safe to be who they are,” Koenig shared, “Having a club that’s so inclusive they feel they can go there and just exhale. That’s what I’m coming out for: the feeling that they know they belong here.” The Harborfields GSA is already looking ahead and hopes the day’s success carries into future projects. Some of their goals include increasing membership, talking about the GSA’s mission, educating the student body more about the Day of Silence in April and its significance to the GLBT community, and bringing more speakers in to have the entire student body discuss being an “out youth” or an “out ally.” Alongside Harborfields’ impressive GSA membership, the high school has also been awarded a gold medal in the US News & World Report Best High Schools competition, a prestigious contest that evaluates the school upon college readiness, participation in Advanced Placement courses, and state proficiency standards.

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local fashion

by matthew ambrosio

What’s in your closet?

out on LI

Long Islanders share their everyday fashion and style

Living and working throughout Long Island, I am repeatedly witness to super-stylish individuals who take it upon themselves to make sure they are literally buttoned-down when it comes to attire and expression. Fashion is by no means a limited resource to us, and with such a variety of vanity-inclined personalities in a small space, it is the perfect condition to get some fashion exposure, and of course, some excellent muses of your own.



Renee Falco THE OUTFIT • Graphic top, Forever 21 • Leather jacket, Marshalls • Jeans, • Boots, Alloy WHY IT WORKS She chose the outfit because it reminds her of Versace by Migos, but made the look her own by picking a bold design for her top. To complement the graphic tee, Renee kept the rest of the outfit simple and threw on the leather jacket for a little edge. Black, animal print, leather, and sharp edges make for a look that shows she embraces a stylishly bad-girl attitude – and the red lip makes it sexy.

Tito Colon Dominique Maciejka THE OUTFIT • Vintage 1970s zipper-front dress • Shoes, MK Suede Boots • Jewelry, YSL • Handbag, 1970s gold lame bag WHY IT WORKS Dominique loves the 1970s era, so she bought her entire outfit in vintage Long Island boutiques. Wearing vintage clothing is all about paying homage to something timeless – fashion itself. The modern shoes and jewelry ensure the look doesn’t become costume-like.

THE OUTFIT • Dark denim jeans, Abercrombie • Vest and shirt, Hugo Boss • Wingtip shoes, Kenneth Cole • Silver watch, Timex WHY IT WORKS Tito’s choice in mixing formal with casual is a great way to stay comfortable yet dressed up – and it looks totally sleek. To make it more interesting, he chose a grommet belt for accent and created a polished look with modern dress shoes. This outfit is universal and, with simple modification, can easily transition to either a more casual or a more formal appearance. It is what I call a “be ready for anything” outfit.



You’ve seen the fashion, now read about the best ‘dos of the year. Turn to page 29 for the Hot Hair Roundup.




out and about


by gregg shapiro

Rocky Road

An interview with Valentine Road filmmaker Marta Cunningham and producer Sasha Alpert Gregg Shapiro: Marta, do you remember where you were when you first heard about the shooting death of Larry King? Marta Cunningham: I came to it later. I read an article, about five months after, in the Southern Poverty Law Center magazine. I was horrified that this event happened, that I had not heard about it and that it wasn’t still being talked about on the news. The school shooting or some aspect of it – GLBT rights. But there was nothing at that time about this child being killed in the classroom. I immediately started doing as much research as I could and found that a lot of the media coverage was victim-blaming, inaccurate. I was really upset by that. I also wanted to do a film on the incident and realized during my research that what I really needed to do was a documentary. Because this is much bigger than just the incident. As a filmmaker, that was what drew you to the tragedy, finding a way to tell this story? MC: Really what I wanted to do was show the complexities and not just focus on the incident. That was just too black and white of a story for me. It didn’t interest me at all. What really interested me the most was the complexities about both of the boys. What was similar, not just what was different. I wanted to go through that experience and bring in other voices who knew these boys. I’m glad that you mentioned the voices, because Valentine Road contains a large number of interviews, including friends, family members, teachers, legal professionals, and even jurors. Did you find that people were willing to discuss the murder and trial or did you have to convince some of the interview subjects to participate? MC: I think that when the defense attorneys found out that I had been talking to the prosecution for three 16


Like the towns of Columbine, Colorado, or Newtown, Connecticut, “hardly anyone knows where Oxnard, California is unless they’ve heard about the story,” as one resident puts it. The site of the classroom shooting of an openly gender non-conforming eighth grade student Larry King by classmate Brandon McInerney, Oxnard has been immortalized, but not in a good way. The documentary Valentine Road (HBO Documentary Films/BMP) explores the events of the day, what occurred leading up to the brutal act of violence, and what transpired afterwards.

Larry King was a 15-year-old gender non-conforming student shot twice by a fellow student, 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, in a classroom at E.O. Green Junior High School in California. He was kept on life support until he died two days later.

years they realized that they needed to let me continue talking to the family. They had started talking to the family at one point and then they were really concentrating on the trial, so they didn’t want their focus to be anywhere else. They realized that if I had been talking to the prosecution and everyone else, they needed to get behind this film if they wanted Brandon portrayed in the correct light. Valentine Road shines a light on a number of issues, beginning with homophobia compounded by the commonplace school violence. In fact, a very telling moment in the film occurs when a couple of the students being interviewed seemed unsurprised that a shooting occurred, much less that it involved Larry. What do you think that says about the way these kinds of occurrences have affected students and the way they view life? Sasha Alpert: I think they live without a lot of adult supervision.

There was no one intervening in this tense situation at the school. Neither of these kids had stable home situations, so they both lacked parents to guide them through a very difficult adolescence. Oxnard is a divided, mostly agricultural migrant labor community, and there is violence there. There is certainly gang activity and white supremacist activity there. MC: But I think it’s fair to say that kids grow up in a different world than we did. School shootings are reported all the time. This is something that, unfortunately, our society has accepted as a part of the fabric of childhood, regardless of whether it’s Oxnard or Newtown, a “nice,” suburban middle-class town. The problem is that we’ve accepted it. I don’t think it matters what neighborhood you’re in. They were so quick to be comfortable with the shooting because this is just part of our culture now. I think it’s horrific. You mentioned the white supremacist aspect and

Valentine Road is full of surprises, including the revelation that Brandon was a “budding white supremacist,” and, as you said, the way that jurors made murder victim Larry the cause of his own murder. Some of the jurors even wore “Free Brandon” bracelets when they were being interviewed on ABC at the time of the retrial. Were these things surprising to you, as well, and were there other things that shocked you while you made the film? MC: I think by that time nothing really surprised me. I was pretty jaded by that point in the journey. I was making the film and I was really hungry to tell a story, so I had shut down a lot of the emotional roller coaster that I had been going through in the very beginning. Now it was just a case of getting the footage. No, I wasn’t shocked





out and about

for bookworms

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot when the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, and she spoke out for her right to an education. I Am Malala takes readers through her inspirational story: from her recovery in Pakistan to her journey to the United Nations – and her nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest nominee ever.

by meryl lumba

WHAT YOU NEED TO READ The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard

MaddAddam Out on shelves September 3rd, renowned poet and storyteller Margaret Atwood ends her trilogy (Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood) with this thrilling, postapocalyptic tale. At the heart of the novel is the story of Zeb’s dark past. Adventurous, romantic, and inventive, Atwood’s work proves to be another grounded dystopian trilogy that echoes our presentday reality.

In October 1998, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was brutally murdered after leaving a bar in Laramie, Wyoming. His name has since been synonymous with anti-gay hate crimes. In this work, Stephen Jimenez goes to Laramie in 2000 to investigate the story of Shepard’s murder, just two years after the two men convicted of killing Shepard had gone to prison. Jimenez travels to a total of 20 states and Washington, DC, interviewing over 100 sources.

Tai Pei Claimed by many to be Tao Lin’s strongest work, Tai Pei mirrors early Hemingway while simultaneously being poorly executed. Its protagonist, Paul, is a novelist in Brooklyn, and lives with his girlfriend, Erin. Their lives revolve around drugs, travelling, and modern lifestyles–allowing for a somewhat plot-less read, yet creating a heavy-handed allegory for a devolving life and technology.

Jimenez, who happens to be gay, aimed this work to be a screenplay but felt the need to share Shepard’s story in a different light – a dark narration filled with secrets and drug trafficking. The result? The Book of Matt reveals some troubling circumstances revolving around Shepard’s death and urges readers to take a closer look at sensationalized media coverage.



>> READ MORE AT LIVINGOUTLI.ORG LogoTVSitcomTherapy_Ad_LivingOut.indd 1



© Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, 2006

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©ABC Studios

LIVING10/23/13 OUT

12:31 17 PM

I think it’s fair to say that kids grow up in a different world than we did. School shootings are reported all the time.

out and about

Valentine Road is available on HBO Demand now and on HBO GO starting December 10, 2013.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16 because I had witnessed, by this time, so much homophobia. No, it wasn’t shocking to me at all. What was shocking to me was that they got to wear them [the bracelets] in the courtroom. That was shocking. Marta, you make use of animation when it comes to the depiction of Larry’s trans alterego.

out and about

MC: I wanted to create a lightness of touch. That’s what Larry seemed to have. I wanted to keep that childhood notion alive, that fantasy aspect alive. I talked to a lot of trans men and women who talked about depictions that they had when they were younger. Sometimes they had to create alter egos to survive the amount of bullying and harassment that they went through.

– beginning with Larry and Brandon’s Valentine’s Day interaction, Valentine Road is the street where the entrance to the cemetery where Larry is buried and Larry’s heart was donated to a little girl on Valentine’s Day. Has this had any effect on the way you feel about Valentine’s Day? MC: I never thought about it. [Laughs] I really try to keep my private life separate from anything that I do work-wise. I haven’t

Valentine Road also has a Valentine’s theme throughout


really gone there. I’m very good at compartmentalizing. I always think about Larry on February 12, the day he was shot, and I think about them on the 14th, but I don’t pour it into the personal Valentine’s Day category. Have you started working on or thinking about your next film? MC: I’m working on some narrative, writing two different narrative pieces. SA: I’m developing a couple of new documentaries.

by meryl lumba

Animal Planet Roundup Whether you’re watching an exciting episode of Animal Cops, a heart-tugging hour of Too Cute, or an irresistibly adorable shot of the Puppy Bowl, Animal Planet surprisingly provides hours of quality entertainment regardless of whether or not you have a furry friend.


1 18

DOGS 101 & CATS 101

There’s no better way to both learn about all the different kinds of breeds of dogs and cats and educate viewers about the kind of breed they want. With expert commentary from veterinarians, pet enthusiasts, and breeders, viewers and future pet owners are equipped with the tools they need to care for a happy and healthy puppy or kitten – and an hour of cute animals doesn’t hurt, either. LIVING OUT


This reality show aims at breaking stereotypes about the viciousness of certain breeds of dogs and features the largest pit bull animal shelter in the United States. Filled with heartwarming moments, Pit Bulls & Parolees tells a touching story about rescue and rehabilitation for animals and for humans.



Other than an incredibly memorable cat behaviorist (and musician), My Cat from Hell has helpful tips for every “problem cat” – and eventually dispels stereotypes about cats. Jackson, with his guitar case full of toys and treats, always sheds light on the importance of doing research before owning any pet.



Another reality series, Tanked follows two brothers who dub themselves the largest manufacturer of customized aquarium installations. Always constructing beautiful, inventive, and imaginative environments for aquatic life, these brothers wow audiences each episode by pushing limits.








calendar of events DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT? WE CAN HELP. The Long Island GLBT Services Network is offering Information Sessions to explain the new Affordable Care Act and its impact on the GLBT community. Our Certified Application Counselor and volunteers will also be on hand to help answer questions and get you enrolled!

Day-time Sessions: Monday, November 11th at The Center at Bay Shore,1–2 p.m.

Thursday, November 7th at The Center at Garden City, 7–8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 19th at The Center at Garden City, 1–2 p.m.

Tuesday, November 12th at The Hamptons GLBT Center, 7–8:30 p.m.


LI Gay PTSA Meeting Monday, November 4th, 7-8 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore Attend the next general membership meeting of the Long Island Gay Parent, Teacher, Student Association, the only PTSA of its kind in the nation., 516.323.0011

Museum of the Moving Image & Lunch Friday, November 15th,10:30 a.m. The Museum of Moving Image, Queens, NY SAGE-LI is going to the Museum of Moving Image to experience fun, interactive exhibitions of artifacts, artwork, history, technique, technology of film, television, and digital media (35th Avenue in Astoria). Afterward, SAGE-LI will dine at Zenon Taverna (31st Avenue in Astoria) for Greek cuisine.

Munch and Mingle: Thanksgiving Lunch Monday, November 18th, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

Book Club: The Vagina Monologues Tuesday, November 26th, 7 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City Discuss this book that celebrates female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery with over 200 interviews with women and their memories and experiences.

AlAnon Wednesdays, 7-8:30 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore Closed group for all ages. www., 631.665.2300

AlAnon Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City Closed group for all ages. www., 631.665.2300

Alcoholics Anonymous Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

Join us for a very special Mingle with your SAGE-LI family as we gather and enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving lunch. The meal includes traditional Thanksgiving food. RSVP by Monday, November 11th., 631.665.2300

Closed group for all ages. www., 631.665.2300

Transgender Day of Remembrance Wednesday, November 20th from 7-10 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

The Aleph 2.0 Project supports LGBT Jewish young adults in their 20s and 30s, with programming and discussions reflecting their lives. www., 516.323.0011

RSVP preferred by Wednesday, November 20th – no one is turned away at the door., 631.665.2300


Night-time Sessions:


Aleph 2.0 4th Mondays, 7-8:30 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City

Wednesday, November 13th at The Center at Bay Shore, 7–8:30 p.m. Aleph Project Youth Meetings Thursdays, 5:30-7 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City The Aleph Project supports LGBT Jewish youth, their friends and allies, with programming and discussions reflecting their lives., 516.323.0011

Brother2Brother 1st Thursdays, 7-8 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City Social and discussion group for gay and bisexual men of color age 21+., 516.323.0011

Drop-In HIV/STD Testing – Nassau County Thursdays, 5-8 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City Free and confidential testing for HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia., 516.323.0011

Drop-In HIV/STD Testing – Suffolk County Wednesdays, 5-8 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore 1st Friday of the month, 4-8 p.m. The Hamptons GLBT Center, 44 Union St., Sag Harbor Free and confidential testing for HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia., 631.665.2300

Garden City Mingle Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City SAGE-LI’s weekly social for GLBT seniors 50+ at The Center at Garden City., 516.323.0011

Hampton Bays Mingle 2nd/4th Thursdays, 3-5 p.m. Hampton Bays Senior Center, 25 Ponquogue Ave., Hampton Bays SAGE-LI’s bi-monthly social for GLBT seniors 50+ on the East End. www., 631.665.2300

LIFE in Nassau 2nd Thursdays, 6:30-9 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City LIFE in Nassau meets every second Thursday. Open to adults of all genders and orientations with an interest in BDSM topics.

LIGALY Advisory Board Mondays, 5-7 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore Youth help plan new programs and events at LIGALY., 631.665.2300

LIPSA Tuesday Night Tease Bowling League Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m. Bowl Long Island, 138 West Rd., Patchogue Friendliest co-ed/mixed LGBT Bowling League., 516.375.9473

LITE Social and Discussion Group Wednesdays, 7:30-9 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore 1st/3rd Mondays, 8-9 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City An open discussion group for transgender people and their friends and family., 631.665.2300

Living PositHIVly 2nd/4thThursdays, 7-8:30 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City A support group for GLBT people living with HIV/AIDS., 516.323.0011

Monday Mingle Mondays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore, SAGE-LI’s weekly social for GLBT seniors 50+ at The Center at Bay Shore., 631.665.2300

OUTlet Fridays, 8 p.m.-Midnight The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore Friday night social program for GLBT youth and their friends ages 13-21. $2 admission, transportation available., 631.665.2300

Parent Support Group 1st/3rd Thursdays, 6-7 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore 2nd/4th Mondays, 6-7 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City Discussion group for parents of GLBT children., 631.665.2300

PEP Team – Suffolk Thursdays, 6-8 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore

TRUE Social Discussion Group 4th Fridays, 6-7:30 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore A space for gay and bi men of color to talk about health, relationships, sexuality and other topics. www.ligaly. org, 516.323.0011

TRUE Calling Youth Video Project Tuesdays, 5 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City LIGALY is offering a great opportunity for black and Latino gay and bisexual youth and their friends to show off their skills! Sing, act, dance, or perform., 516.323.0011

Women 2 Women Tuesdays, 7:15-8:45 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore W2W is dedicated to providing a safe and supportive space for lesbians age 40+., 631.921.8368

Youth Group Tuesdays, 5-6 p.m. The Hamptons GLBT Center, 44 Union St., Sag Harbor All East End youth should come check out this new hot GLBT spot. Every Tuesday is a fun interactive youth group; hang out with others in the lounge. You won’t want to miss it!

Interactive leadership program promoting sexual health for GLBT young people., 631.665.2300

Safe Schools Team Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Center at Bay Shore, 34 Park Ave., Bay Shore Youth leadership program for young people committed to creating safer schools on Long Island. www.ligaly. org, 631.665.2300

Sag Harbor Mingle 1st and 3rd Thursdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The Hamptons GLBT Center, 44 Union St., Sag Harbor The Hamptons GLBT Center is officially open and SAGE-LI is bringing a Mingle to Sag Harbor! Bring your friends and come meet new ones.

SAGE-LI Women at Nassau (SWAN) Wednesdays, 7-8:30 p.m. The Center at Garden City, 400 Garden City Plaza, Suite 110, Garden City

Have an event you want listed here? Email editor@!

A social and discussion group for lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women., 516.323.0011


The Historic Suffolk Theater Member of the National Register of Historical Places

THE “SUCCESS HAS NO DEMOGRAPHIC” CHALLENGE Beautifully restored 1933 Art Deco Theater. Eclectic, upscale venue with supper club seating. Live performances, comedy, music and family shows! Join us for dinner and a show!

November & December Events CHARLIE THOMAS’S DRIFTERS (The only original drifter alive!)

Friday, Nov 8 at 8pm

PSYCHIC JEFFREY WANDS Monday, Nov 18 at 7pm SHIRLEY ALSTON REEEVES Original lead singer of the Shirelles


Friday, Dec 6 at 8pm

An Interactive Family Show

Saurday, Nov 9 at 7pm


CAROLINE DOCTOROW Thursday, Nov 14 at 8pm DAN’S PAPERS “BEST OF THE BEST” CONCERT Featuring Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks

Friday, Nov 15 at 8:30pm

CHRISTMAS ON BROADWAY Saurday, Dec 14 at 8pm NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY OF THE YEAR Celebrate with us in your sparkling best!

Tuesday, Dec 31 at 8pm

For tickets or more information visit or call (631) 727-4343

Host Your Private Event : Holiday Parties • Weddings • Corporate Events • Galas Bar & Bat Mitzvahs • Sweet 16’s • Quinceañera’s • Trade Shows Fundraisers • Showcases • Film & Photo Shoots We offer New American Cuisine Dining, Two Full Service Bars, Theatrical Lighting, State-of-the-Art Sound System & Movie Theater Projection Screen along with Event Planning Services. Have a unique event in a unique place!

118 East Main St. Riverhead NY 11901 | (631) 727-4343


At The Prudential Insurance Company of America, success has no gender, gender expression/identity, age, race or sexual orientation obstacle. Success is for anyone who accepts the challenge of working for our respected global company. By creating an environment that values all people, at Prudential we are able to be innovative, relevant and successful in meeting our customers’ diverse financial needs. If you’re ready for the challenge, we’re ready for you.

Financial Professional Associate Career Development Program Through our Financial Professional Associate Career Development Program, you’ll have a strong foundation to reach your goals. Our most successful Financial Professional Associates are strong communicators and relationship builders with a drive for results. They’re men and women from all walks of life. Join us now and you’ll also be able to: • • • •

ENJOY excellent compensation potential PARTICIPATE in a flexible training plan LEARN through on-the-job sales experiences EARN your professional licenses

Prudential received a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for programs and practices that are inclusive of LGBT employees, consumers and investors. Find out why our diversity is also our strength. For more information, please contact: Rony A. Nehme CLU®, LUTCF, CLTC Managing Director Email: Phone: 516-794-6175

©2012. Prudential, the Prudential logo, the Rock symbol and Bring Your Challenges are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Newark, NJ and its affiliates are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employers and are committed to diversity in its workforce. Prudential is an Employer that participates in E-Verify. 0213194-00005-00 Ed. 1/2013 LIVING OUT



Quality Healthcare Services for Individuals with Special Needs and the Community at Large

Audiology *Dental *Dermatology *Endocrinology *Gynecology *Neurology Occupational Therapy *Optometry *Rehabilitative Medicine *Physical Therapy Podiatry *Primary Care *Psychiatry *Psychotherapy *Speech Therapy

Comprehensive and Caring Medical Services Lunchtime, Evening & Weekend Hours Medicare, Medicaid, and Some Major Health Insurance Plans Accepted Sliding Scale Available for those Eligible Most Credit Cards Accepted

Family Wellness Center

120 Plant Avenue  Hauppauge, NY 11788 Appointments: (631) 851-3810 

You are not alone, you are…FREE To Be FREE TO BE is a group that provides a safe, friendly environment for people to explore their sexuality, socialize, make new friends, and have the support of their community.

“Disability Is A Matter Of Perception. If You Can Do Just One Thing Well, You Are Needed By Someone” -Martina Navratilova

Socialization/Group Meetings Meetings are open to anyone interested in joining FREE TO BE who are GLBT, questioning and gay-straight alliance. Meetings Include Guest Speakers, Event Planning, Open Discussion, and Social Events Next Meeting Date: November 26, 2013 Time: 4:30pm to 6:00pm Location: FREE, 191 Bethpage-Sweet Hollow Road l Old Bethpage, New York 11804 To learn more about FREE TO BE or to become a member, please contact us at Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. 191 Bethpage-Sweet Hollow Road l Old Bethpage, New York 11804 l 516-870-1637






be scene National COming Out Day friday, October 11th at Harborfields high school, Greenlawn, NY Students at harborfields h.s. participate in national coming out day.





Staying Sane

living healthy parenting

by laurie segal

Over the Holidays!

At the end of each holiday season, do you look upon your loved ones, cherish their existence, but vow never to host another holiday dinner? Do you find yourself one year later, loading up on puffed pastry and ordering another oversized bird?

Times are changing and families are more complex than ever. Same-sex marriage, family members living far away, dual parents working, divorce, remarriage and mixed ethnic and religious differences all add to the stress children and families face today. These suggestions, however, will help you through the weeks of festivities and will make it easier for you to get the children back on track when the holidays are over.

STEP ONE Plan ahead Several weeks before the event, sit down and make a list of the things you are worried about. Are you concerned that older children will not want to participate and will prefer to disappear with their friends? Worried about how to handle issues of sadness and loss with regard to relatives who are no longer with you? Nervous about the tenuous relationships you may have with family members that might spill over along with your homemade soup? If you can identify the sensitive issues before the momentous occasion, you can prevent much of the chaos and anxiety for yourself and your family. Be sure to trust your instincts.

STEP TWO Prepare yourself and your children CHILDREN AGES 2-5



Young children often have trouble with changes in their daily schedule. They rely upon routine to structure their developing selves. Try to keep things such as bedtime, meal times, and the usual rules the same. When you need to make a change in the schedule, give children an explanation along with an accommodated plan, such as a nap, or a healthy snack. If they are in the middle of toilet training or some other developmental task, stick with it, but allow for slips stemming from the excitement and change.

Children this age want to be a part of things, so involve them by giving them jobs to do. Make the children holiday photographers with a disposable camera or a Polaroid. Have the children create a large family tree to be hung in the living room for the event. If you have guests from out of town, or out of the country, have the children learn a little about where they are from. Let the children help plan the menu, or, if you can handle it, allow them to cook one of the dishes or desserts.

Adolescents and teenagers strive for independence while at the same time want to remain connected with the family. Adolescents appear to want to be with their friends by day and to stay on their computers all night.

Remember to discuss with your children what you expect from them during the holidays. Are they required to wear something specific? Are they allowed to watch television? Do the children need to wait until everyone is done eating before they are excused from the table? Let your children be a part of the discussion. Accommodating some of the children’s needs will make them feel “bigger” and more connected to the plan.

Develop family activities around the interests of your older children. For example, if your teens are Internet enthusiasts, assign them the role of teaching Grandpa about the computer, showing him Facebook or Pinterest for the over-65 crowd. Teens also love television and movies. Create your own family film festival in which different family members choose movies to watch. Think about a yearly showing of one special film. Have teenagers record/document the gathering. Be sure to play it later while everyone is still together and save it for holidays in the future.

Children want to be seen as big and capable. Give them specific tasks and responsibilities. For example, let the children make place setting cards or a welcome sign for guests. Suggest they find pictures of families in magazines and have them make a collage, or two – or 20! Let the children help cook or set some part of the table. Help your children feel they are an important part of the celebration.

However, there is also an intense unexpressed desire to spend time with the family and take part in holiday traditions. There is room for negotiation and compromise when it comes to adolescents and teens. First, decide bottom lines. When do teenagers need to be physically present even if they balk? Are they allowed to invite a friend? Discuss the rules and regulations before the holiday. Be realistic and take adolescent needs into consideration. Try to engage them in the holidays and do not assume their complaints reflect a lack of interest, but rather a developmental conflict between growing up and staying childlike.

Do not expect teens to verbalize or display enthusiasm about family togetherness. It may take years...and grandchildren, for both you and the children to recognize the importance and impact of the event.

STEP THREE Enjoy! Do not agonize over the many things that can, and will, go wrong. Take some pressure off yourself and find shortcuts. Cook and obsess less, cater and assign dishes more. Consider taking the event to a restaurant. Create new traditions that reflect the changing times. Let go of the “perfect holiday” image and spend more time with your family. Take care of yourself, plan ahead, and you will be better prepared to handle all that arises for your children, your relatives, and your guests.









living healthy

Winter Skincare Must-Haves

by dr. bill blazey


Protect Your Skin Colder, darker days signal a season of new challenges to the health of our skin. Cold outdoor air and the drying effects of indoor heating can wreak havoc on your primary barrier to the elements, but if you take the right steps early on, you can avoid having dried, chapped and damaged skin this winter. Starting with your morning shower, fight the urge to warm up with a hot shower. Taking a hot shower can actually remove the natural protective oils that your skin produces and can increase irritation. Instead, take a warm shower and consider purchasing a moisturizing body cleanser to bathe with. After you towel off, slather on the lotion to keep your skin nourished. Often when dry skin arises and becomes chapped, the first instinct is to use a harsh abrasive scrub, but this often leads to acne and more inflamed skin. Instead, consider making your own gentle homemade scrub of honey and sugar to soften patches on your elbows, knees, and feet. For your face and other sensitive areas, use a ‘renewing’ skin lotion that contains salicylic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells. Your body

creates thicker skin to deal with stress from the environment we live in, so do not be overzealous with removing this protection. Everyone’s motto during the cold and flu season should be to have good hand hygiene. However, washing our hands too frequently can cause them to become chapped and painful. Washing with soap and water is not the only way to avoid these infections. Consider carrying a non-alcohol based hand sanitizer with you to use before eating or after contact with door handles and people who are sick. When you do need to wash your hands, using a moisturizing soap-free cleanser and following it with a dollop of lotion can prevent those cracked hands from showing up this winter. Just because it is not the season to wear your swimsuit does not mean you should pack away the sunblock. While you are out in the yard raking leaves or shoveling snow, use sunblock to prevent UV light from doing damage to your skin. Also, when you hit the

Burt’s Bees Body Lotion, $10

slopes this winter, the snow can act like a mirror for the sun and is the cause for many snow bunnies returning from their weekend red and peeling. Start early and be consistent with caring for your lips to keep them ready for that special kiss at midnight. Avoid licking your lips when they feel dry, as this actually dries them out more! Using a lip balm to protect you from losing moisture is essential to healthy, kissable lips. Lip balms like Beecause uses organic beeswax to protect and peppermint oil to refresh without putting any harmful chemicals so close to your mouth. While protecting the skin from the outside, do not forget to drink enough water. Dry air can rob your body of this essential nutrient that is needed for creating new healthy skin. Taking these steps now will reward you with beautiful, glowing, and healthy skin in the months ahead!

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about the author: William R. Blazey, D.O. is an assistant professor of Family Medicine at NYIT’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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5/23/13 7:39 AM

living smart travel

by joey amato

Out Destination: Palm Springs In the midst of the dry, hot California desert lies an oasis so beautiful that photos cannot capture its splendor. Palm Springs is one of eight desert cities situated in an area known as the Coachella Valley, just a short two-hour drive from Los Angeles or San Diego. The population is approximately 45,000 but doubles during the winter season when all of their fabulous festivals take place. The city averages 350 days of sunshine and less than five inches of rain fall each year. With winter temperatures averaging in the 70s, it is an ideal place to escape the harsh northern winters. The city is steeped in Native American history. It lies on land settled by the ancestors of the Agua Caliente Cahuilla Indians. Of the reservation’s 32,000 acres, 6,700 lie within Palm Springs city limits. The remaining sections fan out across the desert and mountains in a checkerboard pattern.The Aqua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians remains actively involved with the City of Palm Springs and in 1995, the tribe opened their first casino in a tent next to the Spa Resort Hotel. Today, the tribe has two hotels, two casinos, a golf resort, and entertainment venue. Palm Springs is also famous for its mid-century modern architecture. People from around the globe visit the city every year just to view some of the historic properties built during this period.



20-minute drive away. Stores like Hugo Boss, Barney’s New York and Theory are sure to satisfy any serious shopaholic.

Influences from notable architects Albert Frey and Donald Wexler can be found throughout the city. Also during that period, local developer, Alexander Homes, popularized the post-and-beam architectural style. Alexander houses and similar homes feature low-pitched roofs, wide eaves, open-beamed ceilings, and floorto-ceiling windows. Every year, the city hosts Modernism Week to pay tribute to the style. Those who are more interested in shopping can take a stroll along Palm Canyon Drive, the heart of the city. Dozens of boutique shops, art galleries and outdoor cafes line the street, which has become the epicenter of activity. If discount shopping is on your agenda, head to Desert Hills Premium Outlets, just a short

To catch a birds-eye view of the city, jump aboard the Palm Springs aerial tramway, the world’s largest rotating tram-car. Rising 8,500 feet from the desert floor, the tram gives visitors a chance to stand atop one of the area’s tallest peaks. Once they have reached the summit, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, from cross-country skiing to camping. However, if you visit during the winter months, be sure to bring a light jacket or sweater, as the temperature can be 30 degrees colder than the desert below. Nature lovers may also like to journey to one of Palm Springs’ many wonderful parks and reserves. One location worth a visit is Indian Canyons. This glorious park is home to over 150 species of plants and wildlife, numerous waterfalls, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails. On our visit, we had the chance to take part in a guided tour of the park, which is ideal for horseback riding, bird watching, and picnicking.

Palm Springs is home to many guest-houses and small hotels. With dozens of choices, it is hard to find the perfect one, so I recommend dividing your trip and experiencing two. All of the properties provide a friendly and welcoming environment for their guests. Some are pet-friendly as well, so if you are travelling alone or with others, you will not be disappointed. Palm Springs is also host to numerous gay festivals throughout the year, most notably the White Party and Dinah Shore Weekend, one of the top woman’s events in the country. Most gay nightlife is focused around Arena Road in downtown Palm Springs. Destinations include Hunters, SpurLine, and Georgie’s Alibi, which is located on Palm Canyon Drive. A 10-minute cab ride up the road will lead you to Toucans, the area’s hottest dance club. The indoor/outdoor venue is perfect for those looking to mingle with the desert “it crowd.” Whether you are a nature buff, art lover or design guru, Palm Springs offers something for everyone. The best time to visit is between October and May, when temperatures are still tolerable – but steep discounts can be had during the summer months for the budgetconscious traveler.

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living smart

Hot HAIR beauty

by matthew ambrosio


Have any plans to get a new hairstyle? Living Out colors, cuts, and curls in the search for the look that fits one’s personality and character. This season, think about trying something you have never done before. Do you need some ideas or advice? Who better to ask than the professionals who craft and create hairstyles with passion every day. I toured the island to get several stylists’ opinions on what is trending, as well as the looks they are styling in their very own chairs. THE CHOPPY RAZOR BOB picked by Brian Duignan, Tru Salon

This cut is flattering for almost any hair type and facial shape. It makes for a great new look, especially for someone looking to change their basic bob to make it messy and sexy. Blow hair out from roots to ends lifting straight out to create volume section by section. When dry, just spray lightly over hair with Tru dry shampoo and start vertically wrapping the hair in big sections with a curling iron. Finish with a styling paste on ends to break up the hair.

Neckties Scarves

“Hearts and skulls come together to represent the trials of love and heartbreak. Inspired by a true story, the “Love Kills” collection is a testament to passion, romance, drama, and heartache. Wear them to show you’re NOT afraid of love, but embrace it.” Matthew Go to or email

THE GREAT GATSBY picked by Giovanna Abbate, Amore Salon

No matter what your age, an oldie-butgoodie male trend is the Great Gatsby hairstyle. This gentlemen-like style has a strong side: part slicked with a pomade of your choice (I prefer Matte Grip by Joico) to give a nice hold and matte finish. When achieving this look, apply product to hair and use a tight toothcomb to make your part on one side. Then, comb the top a little forward and blow-dry the front with a twirl if hair is long enough. THE CLASSIC BRAID picked by Samantha Stebbins, Cactus Salon



AMBRO Style Designs

Braids, braids, and more braids! They are so versatile, so everyone can wear them at any age and for any occasion. You can dress up a textured fishtail for an event or hold your hair back for the gym with a French braid. It is a big trend right now and the art of braiding is easily mastered with a little practice. Ask for help or a little education from your stylist. The best time to braid is a day or two after your next blowout.




living smart


Protect Your Finances: The Basics of Identity Theft Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information to commit fraud or other crimes. There are preventative measures you can take to reduce the chance of identity theft as well as steps to recover from any damage if you are a victim.


• •

Safeguard Personal Identity Information Keep all identification and financial documents in a safe and private place. Provide information only when you know how it will be used. Make all passwords hard to guess by making it complex. Request a hold if you can’t pick up your mail. Be aware of your workplace’s security procedures. Do not carry your Social Security card or your driver license number printed on your checks.

Check Security with Credit Cards, ATM and Debit Cards, and Checking and Savings Accounts • Shred all statements and pre-approved credit card offers with a crosscut shredder. • Be aware of people behind you at the ATM or anywhere else you swipe your card. • Know where your checkbook is at all times. • When you write a check, be sure to print firmly and use indelible ink. • Examine your transactions on your statements each month.

Protect Files on Your Computer • Update your virus protection periodically and use a firewall to prevent your computer from being accessible. • Do not download files or open hyperlinks sent from people you do not know. • Try not to store personal and financial information on your laptop.


YOUR IDENTITY WAS STOLEN. NOW WHAT? Keep copies of all letters, file paperwork promptly, and store everything in a safe and accessible place. • If accounts have been used illegally, contact your creditors immediately. • If a collection agency attempts to collect on a fraudulent account, explain (in writing) that you are a victim of identity theft. Ask to confirm in writing that you do not owe the balance and the account has been closed. • Report the crime and file a police report.

• For checking account fraud, contact your financial institution. Close current accounts and obtain new account numbers and passwords. • Notify the US Postal Inspection Service if your mail was stolen or your address was used fraudulently. • Check your credit reports from all three credit bureaus. Dispute any fraudulent items.

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LIVING10/23/13 OUT

•10:1631 AM


Video Game Roundup: Fall 2013 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – out now by Warner Bros. Interactive for NDS, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS, Vita, Wii U, Xbox One, PS4 – A brick-smashing good time awaits gamers of all ages in this action-packed, lighthearted video game. Surprisingly clever writing and an adventourous storyline make its replayability high. Rating pending.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – out now by Ubisoft for PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, PC, Xbox One, Wii U – The Assassin’s Creed saga takes a pirate-filled turn: Play as Edward Kenway, a brutal captain bent on ruling the seas, pillage and plundering his way to glory. Rated M for Mature.

holiday fun

Thanksgiving Recipes Side Dish: Mom’s Green Bean Casserole • • • • •

1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon white sugar 1/4 cup onion, diced 1 cup sour cream 3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained

• 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese • 1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

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Preheat oven to 350ºF. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat. Transfer the mixture to a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

Call of Duty: Ghosts – out now by Activision for PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4 – The popular firstperson shooter franchise returns, but don’t expect the same old thing: Creators promise for a riveting all-new gameplay experience built around a brand-new CoD engine, improved multiplayer gameplay, and dynamic maps. Rating M for Mature.

Super Mario 3D World – November 22 by Nintendo for Wii U – Super Mario 3D World once again unites Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Toad for an all-new adventure. Perfect for family fun or younger gamers. Rating E for Everyone.

Do you dream of being a parent? Have lots of love to share?

Appetizer: Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms • • • • •

12 fresh mushrooms 1/2 pound ground beef 1 tablespoon minced onion 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon butter

• • • •

1/4 cup bread crumbs 1/4 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup butter, melted 1 teaspoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Remove and chop mushroom stems. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook until beef is no longer pink; drain. Mix in chopped mushroom stems, 1 tablespoon butter, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream. Dip mushroom caps in 1/4 cup melted butter and stuff generously with meat mixture. Arrange stuffed mushrooms in a baking dish. Sprinkle with chili powder. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven.

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pet tips

living smart

by meryl lumba

Keep Your Furry Friend Warm for the Winter When living on Long Island, we need to know how to care for our pets in any weather, especially during frigid winter months. Be sure you’re educated on how to protect your pets from unpredictable weather as the temperature drops. Indoor-Only Cats Unlike dogs that often fuss or shiver, cats are less likely to show whether or not they are cold or distressed by the weather change. You’ll want to keep their fur as dry as possible, as wet fur being exposed to the cold can lead to illness. Unlike dogs, most cats will not be comfortable in a sweater, so prepping a bed or cat tree with a little extra padding and soft blankets is a smart idea.

Outdoor Cats Dogs First and foremost, there’s obviously a huge difference between walking a small dog, like a Pomeranian, and a large breed like an Alaskan Malamute. Smaller and older dogs are less equipped to handle colder weather, so you may want to dress them in appropriate outerwear so they can better withstand the temperature. Always check their feet and fur. Ice balls can form between the pads of their feet – or worse, salt to melt the snow can get stuck, which when ingested, can be fatal. For smaller dogs, keeping their feet warm is even more important. Some pet stores sell small boots or thick socks to help protect paws, but be advised that lots of dogs will try biting or kicking them off. You may have to coax them with treats if your vet recommends keeping their paws covered.


Be sure to check your cat’s paws for injury, broken paw pads, or ice balls stuck in their fur – and make sure his or her fur is dry. If there are a lot of strays in your neighborhood, one thing to keep in mind is that small animals will look for shelter in extreme weather. Some common temporary shelters for strays are dryers and recently parked cars. Always check before starting either – they will know to leave, especially if they are strays. Lastly, outdoor cats need more food during the winter, as they burn calories to stay warm. Checking that they have fresh water in their dishes, instead of frozen water, is also important.

Birds, Ferrets, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits and Other Small Animals While some small pets can survive just fine in a covered, dry outdoor area, it’s best to keep your caged animals indoors. Rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs thrive during the cold winter months in same-species pairs or small groups indoors, rather than being on their own, because of the socialization and, more critically, body warmth. Extra food is important when it is incredibly cold. Cleaning their cages every morning is key in order to avoid your pets sleeping in a cold, wet bed – and a heating pad is also helpful in extreme cold. Lastly, guinea pigs need extra vitamin C every day to avoid illnesses. Heating lamps, space heaters, or air humidifiers for birds are particularly helpful during the winter – especially since they thrive in humidity and moisture.

Share photos of your pampered pets at for a chance to be featured on our Facebook page:



points of view


by reverend irene monroe

The Matthew Shepard We Don’t Know There are numerous hagiographies on the Matthew Shepard murder. Tewnty years after his slaying, they are being challenged. Are we ready for the tale journalist Stephen Jimenez, himself gay, spins?

the drug world behind, but he found himself getting pulled back in,” Jimenez stated in a recent interview with Rachel Martin of “Weekend Edition” from NPR, reflecting on the anniversary of Shepard’s murder.

I had the pleasure of meeting him at his book reading in the Harvard Coop this month. Referring to his book, I told Stephen that perhaps it is easier to kill the messenger (him) than hear his message.

In a 2004 episode of the television newsmagazine show 20/20, investigative journalist Elizabeth Vargas also reported that money and drugs motivated Shepard killers’ actions and not homophobia. And now with Jimenez’s incontrovertible

Jimenez’s message in The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard upends a canonized narrative we all have grown familiarly comfortable with, irrespective of its sensationalized macabre details. Jimenez posits that Shepard’s murder had nothing to do with his sexual orientation but rather his involvement in the deadly underworld of Laramie’s crystal methamphetamine drug trafficking. Jimenez writes that Shepard was not only a user, but was also a courier who had plans just before his death to drive shipments of meth. “I learned that Matthew had been a user of meth. And from everything I was able to trace, Matthew got into meth in a serious way, when he was living in Denver, before he moved to Laramie. He moved to Laramie in the summer of 1998. I ended up meeting and interviewing several friends of Matthew. One of them, Tina Labrie, talked about the fact that, you know, Matthew mentioned to her that each time he moved to a new place that he would try to leave 34


2009 piece “The Deification of Matthew Shepard: What the gay-rights movement has lost by making Shepard its icon.” The anointing of Matthew Shepard as an iconic image for GLBT rights not only concealed from the American public the real person, but it also hid the other varied faces of hate crimes in the 1990s. For example, in 1998, the year Matthew was murdered, the country saw the worst form of social intolerance since the McCarthy witch-hunts and the lynching of a 14-yearold AfricanAmerican boy named Emmett Till of Chicago. In the small remote town of Jasper, in East Texas, an unemployed vacuum cleaner salesman named James Byrd, Jr. was

story. If you truly love someone, you’ll tell them the truth. And, the truth that God loves them could just be the truth that sets them free.” And then in October of that year, we heard the deadly news coming from Laramie, Wyoming. This time, the victim was Shepard, 21. While a nation cried out in horror over the brutal killing of Matthew Shepard, the 1993 murder of Teena Brandon, a 21-year-old white Nebraskan

TV movie The Matthew Shepard Story, The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, mostly known as the Matthew Shepard Act, and Jason Collins, the first openly gay African American professional baller, who, during the 2012-13 NBA season, deliberately wore the number “98” on his jersey to honor Shepard. Not bad, some would say, for a story built on a lie.

The anointing of Matthew Shepard as an iconic image for GLBT rights not only concealed from the American public the real person but it also hid the other varied faces of hate crimes in the 1990s. evidence that Shepard’s murderers were not strangers – one is a bisexual crystal meth addict who not only knew Matthew, but also partied, bought drugs from, and had sex with Matthew. With this “new” information, a more textured but troubling truth emerges. This truth shatters a revered icon for GLBT rights, one deliberately chosen because of race, gender, and economic background. “Matthew Shepard’s status as a gay everyman was determined – first by the media, then by gay-rights groups – with little knowledge of who he was. He looked like an attractive, angelic, white college student from the heart of conservative America,” Gabriel Arana wrote in her

walking home from a party along Highway 96 and was offered a ride. Little did he know that he would be chained to the back of a truck and dragged by his ankles to his death – simply because he was black. During the summer months of 1998, the country was hit with the explosion of “ex-gay” ministry ads that appeared in major newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today. The ads were sponsored by a coalition of 15 right-wing Christian organizations calling all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to convert to heterosexuality. The ads stated: “Please, if you, or someone you know or love is struggling with homosexuality, show them this

transgender man (the inspiration for the 1999 movie Boys Don’t Cry) went unnoticed. As did untold numbers of hate crimes against GLBT people of color that were unreported in mainstream papers, and rarely saw the light of day in queer ones as well. In reading Jimenez’s book, we shockingly learn that Matthew Shepard’s Gay Icon story is a fictive narrative. Some would empathically argue it is good to be politically canonized in order to push for needed legislative changes in the protection and understanding of GLBT Americans. The fruit of the Shepard narrative includes The Matthew Shepard Foundation, The Laramie Project,

The cultural currency of the Shepard narrative’s shelf life, however, might now after nearly two decades be flickering out, or it is now of no use to its framers and the community it was intended to serve. “There are valuable reasons for telling certain stories in a certain way at pivotal times, but that doesn’t mean we have to hold on to them once they’ve outlived their usefulness,” Aaron Hicklin, editor-in-chief of Out Magazine wrote in his Advocate piece “Have We Got Matthew Shepard All Wrong?” I read Jimenez’s The Book of Matt as a cautionary tale of how the needs of a community trumped the truth of a story.





by gwen smith

points of view

Yellow Journalism Trumps Trans Truths The workings of the new media are not quite what they used to be and the romantic view of the reporter doggedly shaking down their leads to bring in a story is quickly fading away. Today, the goal is to bring in a story fast and first – with depth and accuracy often, at best, secondary. Stories are often picked up without attribution, passed around like a childhood game of telephone. Many, too, are little more than parroting of press releases and prepackaged fluff stories. As a result, one usually has to look at the news with a careful eye, doing the fact checking that was once done at your local television station or newspaper desk. Enter an article on the website for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). The article talks about a transgender student at Florence High School in Florence, Colorado. Presumably, this student was harassing others in the restroom at school, and school officials told complaining parents that the transgender student’s rights “trumped” their daughters’ rights to privacy. More than this, students were threatened with being charged with hate crimes and being kicked off school teams simply for speaking out against this student. The hero of this story is the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), who sent a sternly worded letter to the school. “We’re not going to stand by and let 99.7 percent of our students lose their privacy and free speech rights just because .3 percent of the population are gender-confused,” said the PJI. They continued, demanding the school provide assurances that “privacy and expressive rights” will be protected. Now it is hardly surprising to see a conservative group like the PJI climb immediately into such a case. The very day that California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB1266, a bill that prohibits schools from discrimination based on gender, gender identity, and gender expression, the PJI took the lead opposing the bill. They launched a website,, and began the search for “anyone who will be victimized as a result of this new law.” I should note that one of those victim classes they were seeking was “someone whose privacy rights are violated in the bathroom.” CBN launched their article about Florence High School on a Sunday, while the school was closed and no one was available to comment. A handful of other news websites picked up this news, all credited back to the CBN site. None of them added any details beyond what CBN had provided, and none of them spoke with the PJI, school officials, or any of the concerned parents of any of the students.

I do not want to claim that the PJI, let alone CBN, fabricated this story from whole cloth, though I do suspect there is a whole lot to this story that is not being presented. The story begins by talking about the push for “radical transgender rights” and tells us about a “male student” who “claims to be a transgender” and has been “harassing girls in the bathroom.” The picture they wish to paint in your mind is of a boy who is sexually harassing female classmates, and using transgender-based protections to hide behind. Yes, the so-called “bathroom meme.”

reply from a student of Florence High School, who signed herself as “Honest Jane.” Her reply gives us another side to this story. “Honest Jane” has never seen the trans youth harass anyone, and labels them as being both “shy” and “a nice person.” While she herself is torn about this student using the women’s room in which “maybe 30 percent” of the other girls are uncomfortable, she knows that they would get assaulted in the men’s room. The issue about getting charged with a hate crime or getting kicked off the sports teams was not as simple as the PJI painted it: There had been a post on Facebook, where this teen transwoman was “outed” by a number of students, and the school opted to act in response to it. It was this response, which included confiscation of students’ electronic devices, presumably to intrude on the privacy of the transgender student, that the parents raised objection to.

I am pretty tired of talking about the bathroom meme, but it appears to be the transgender version of “gays recruit” or “Dungeons & Dragons leads to worshipping Satan.” In short form, they claim that if you allow transgender people to use public accommodations like restrooms, sexual predators will claim to be transgender in order to rape and molest your wife and children – and the law will protect them. To date, there have not been any proven cases of this happening: not in Colorado, not in California, not anywhere. Rape and assault remain crimes no matter who does them, let alone the fact that a molester or rapist is not going to go through the trouble of establishing a transgender identity when they can likely find plenty of other easier ways to prey on people. Buried within the comments on one CBNsourced article was a

I am pretty tired of talking about the bathroom meme, but it appears to be the transgender version of “gays recruit” or “Dungeons and Dragons leads to worshipping Satan.”

A conversation that transadvocate Cristan Williams had with a school district representative backs up “Honest Jane.” There has been no harassment on the part of this young transgender woman and the majority of students and parents are supportive of the student and the school. Further, a report on KOAA 5 in Colorado Springs backed this up, giving us even more information about the transgirl in question, Jessica Valentine, and further debunking claims that she was also allowed to use the girls’ locker room. So why is the CBN story so slanted? I see this story as part of a larger strategy, and expect we will see this article trotted out as “proof” that AB1266 needs to be repealed. It seemingly has everything the PJI was asking for, and would make a great newspaper clipping to “prove” their point. Perhaps I have worn too many tinfoil hats, but it just seems to fit too well. So I ask you, dear reader, to continue to be cautious about what you read, and look for more to the story: There may be more at work than you may realize.







by andy stern

Congressional Groundhog Day Is there a phrase for knowing well in advance that you have been there before? Psychic déjà vu? I can see it all before me. Congress pontificates incessantly about the need for fiscal responsibility. They take votes over and over again to repeal “Obamacare” in the name of the American people, even though poll after poll indicates the American people just want Congress to get over it and move on. The media begins to show a clock counting down toward a government shutdown and the cataclysm that is the failure to raise the debt ceiling. There is this powerful neophyte who will spew indignant ignorance that will inexplicably make leadership shiver and pay attention. In my vision it will be a Ted someone… Ted Boat. No, not Boat. Maybe it is Ted Ship. No, wait, that is not it. Cruise – that is it! Spelled differently mayhap, but I can clearly see the bombastic pomposity taking shape. I think I also envision an Oompa Loompa involved somehow,

obstruct, and downright barricade anything that could be interpreted as a win for the Obama administration. What could it possibly be? Sure, Democrats want to defeat Republicans and visa versa, but the level of animus and antipathy have scaled never before seen heights. Odd because, from where this lefty is sitting, Obama is far from a left-wing progressive. If anything, his moderate, middle-of-the-road politics have left me wanting and waiting. So what could it be? Maybe a Harvard-versus-Yale sort of thing? Maybe the Republicans are still indignant over the way Barack’s campaign went after Hillary? What makes this presidency so different from all others? How could I have overlooked it? Our president is black. The fact that Barack Obama is our president does not mean racism is dead and buried in this country. If anything, the last five years only serve to highlight and underscore that racism is very much alive and well. And sitting in

This is not just a Legislature that wants to block the president’s agenda. There’s a palpable desire to humiliate him, to excoriate him, to bring him to his knees. terrified of losing his job and saying and doing anything and everything he can to appease and placate Mr. Wonka. Wait, no, it is John Boehner! The orange hue threw me off. We are living in Congressional Groundhog Day. The budget and debt ceiling are only the climax of the reoccurring plotline. We have seen this with immigration reform. And background checks. And anything else the President has his imprimatur on. Even legislative initiatives that have “Republican” written all over them – let the stalling and spinning begin. It was not always like this. This is not simple “business as usual” or “something is broken in Washington.” Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil agreed on nothing politically, but they worked together – and drank together. In recognition of who was elected president and for the ultimate good of the nation, they worked together. It almost seems as if the Republicans in Congress (not to quote Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell) have made it their “single most important goal” to block, prevent, impede, delay, defeat, 36


Congress. This is not just a Legislature that wants to block the president’s agenda. There’s a palpable desire to humiliate him, to excoriate him, to bring him to his knees. And to hell with the nation to do it. You can smell it in the air. You can feel it in the breeze. It is all around us, but no one really seems to want to talk about it anymore. No one wants to analyze where this level of rhetoric and vitriol and obstructionism is stemming from. There is a mirror no one wants to hold up to the nation and its representatives. We are all too afraid of pointing fingers, too afraid of accusation and incrimination – no matter how true it may be. And the barely contained racist hate speech continues to pour forth from the Tea Party. And Michele Bachmann is given her platform. And Ted Cruz is handed a ludicrous amount of political clout on a silver platter. And the country stands over a precipice. Barack Obama’s presidency has oddly frightened us away from talking about race at precisely the time we need to be talking about it the most. And the clock begins to count down again. The new debt ceiling deadline is February 6, 2014. Let Groundhog Day begin.



outspoken the a to z

by meryl lumba



Just like sexual orientation, gender identity exists on a spectrum. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to navigate through questions regarding gender and terminology, so here is a quick guide to some commonly used vocabulary. TRANSGENDER

Firstly, the term transgender is an adjective and refers to people whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth. • FTM/trans man: femaleto-male transgender person • MTF/trans woman: male-to-female transgender person Not all transgender individuals choose to pursue hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or undergo procedural surgeries. This does not invalidate their identity in any way.

The A to Z section features a different demographic each month to better educate and understand all of the unique identities within our vast and varied GLBT community. Suggest a topic at


GENDERQUEER Also known as “GQ,” this term refers to a person who may not identify within the gender binaries. CISGENDER

Often abbreviated as “cis,” this term is related to the type of gender identity in which an individual’s selfperceived gender matches the gender he or she was assigned to at birth.


Impersonating the opposite sex through gender expression; not all drag queens, drag kings, and other performers identify as transgender.


Also known as “GNC, “gendervariance, or “GQ,” gender non-conforming individuals note that their behavior and/or gender expression does not conform to the gender binaries of male and female.


It’s a good rule of thumb to ask what pronoun someone prefers if you are unsure. Though the individual may outwardly appear to prefer he or she, pronouns such as ze, hir, and they are more gender neutral.

There are many terms that people may use to self-identify. Ask questions politely if you’re unsure, but avoid invasive questions about their body, their relationships, or their sexuality.








445 East Main St. (25A) Centerport N.Y.


441 East Main St. (25A) Centerport N.Y.






Ralph Colamussi Welcomes the GLBT Community 38











Issue 11, Volume 1: November 2013  
Issue 11, Volume 1: November 2013  

This month's issue of Living Out looks at the lives of Trans Long Islanders and reflects on National Coming Out Day.